An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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One of the oldest fragments of Hebrew poetry. Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron (Nm 26:59), was a prophetess who celebrated the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptians with a victory dance (Ex 15:20-21). She sang, "Sing to the Lord, for he has/ triumphed gloriously;/ horse and rider he has... Read More »

A ledge or rest on the underside of a hinged seat in a choir stall. It was designed to provide "merciful" support for monks or others needing help to stand during long periods of worship. The term is from the Latin for "mercy." A misericord may be carved or decorated. The term is also used to... Read More »

An altar book that provides all the textual materials needed for celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It includes liturgical texts and directions, readings, additional prayers, hymns, and musical notations. This single volume is used by the celebrant who presides at the eucharist. Use of the missal... Read More »

" The use of a missal has never been required in the Anglican liturgical tradition. However, unofficial missals have been privately published. These missals combine liturgical texts from the Prayer Book with supplementary materials such as prayers, ceremonial directions, and scripture lessons for... Read More »

From the Latin "to send." Christian mission is the sending forth to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The authority for Christian mission is based in Christ and known through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christian mission is understood to be a response to Jesus' command for his disciples... Read More »

Journal published by Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, formerly Kerygma. Mission and Ministry began publication in Advent 1982. It combines "theological reflection and pastoral instruction on issues important to biblical Christians."

" Simplified forms of the Daily Offices of the BCP. These simplified forms, also known as "Third Services," began to be used in the mid-nineteenth century in pastoral contexts that were not considered appropriate for the BCP forms of the Daily Offices. For example, the Protestant Episcopal Society... Read More »

One sent to proclaim the good news of Christ. The term is from the Latin "to send." All Christians by baptism are called to "proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ" (BCP, p. 305). The church seeks to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. The church... Read More »

A bishop sent by the church to lead the organization and development of the church in a new mission field. The 1835 General Convention, the Missionary Convention, passed the canon, "of Missionary Bishops." This canon provided that the House of Deputies may, on nomination by the House of Bishops,... Read More »

Augustine, Benicia, California. See St. Augustine, Missionary College of, Benicia, California.

This periodical was published at Burlington, New Jersey, under the patronage and editorship of Bishop George Washington Doane. The first issue was dated Sept. 20, 1835, and it ceased publication in Dec. 1837. It called itself a "Soldier of the Cross." It is very valuable for the information it... Read More »

This diocese was organized at Trinity Church, Natchez, on May 17-18, 1826. It includes the entire state of Mississippi. On Jan. 19, 1966, St. Andrew's Church, Jackson, became the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew. Read More »

Jackson Kemper was consecrated the Missionary Bishop of Missouri and Indiana on Sept. 1, 1835. On Nov. 16, 1840, the Diocese of Missouri was organized at Christ Church, St. Louis, which became Christ Church Cathedral on May 22, 1888. The General Convention of 1889 voted to divide the Diocese of... Read More »

" See Blue Box (UTO).

Liturgical headgear and insignia of bishops and other prelates. It is typically worn by bishops in procession and when pronouncing episcopal blessings. It is removed during prayer, including the eucharistic canon. The term is from the Greek for "turban." The miter is shield-shaped and pointed at... Read More »

The practice of mixing a little water with the wine that will be consecrated at the eucharist. The BCP states that this practice "is customary" (p. 407). It probably is derived from ancient Jewish custom. It was likely observed by Jesus at the Last Supper. It was the invariable practice of the... Read More »

(c. 1861-June 1896). Catechist and martyr in Rhodesia. He was born on the coast of Mozambique, and moved to Capetown, South Africa, in search of employment when he was a teenager. In Capetown he met Frederick Puller, a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. Puller baptized Mizeki on Mar... Read More »

Modalism, or modalistic monarchianism, is a pre-Nicene teaching about the relation of Christ to God. First taught by Noetus of Smyrna at the end of the second century, modalism was also taught at Rome by Praxeas, Sabellius, and others. Modalism took several forms. Praxeas taught that Word and... Read More »

The term for the thought of some late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Roman Catholic scholars who sought to embrace the results of recent advances in history, science, and philosophy. They trusted catholic tradition but mistrusted scholastic theology. They insisted on the complete freedom... Read More »

(b. Aug. 19, 1926). Director of General Convention Special Program. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. Modeste received his B.A. in 1950 from Long Island University and his M.S.W. in 1953 from the Columbia University School of Social Work. He also studied at the Graduate School of Business at... Read More »

(Feb. 17, 1906-Jan. 22, 1984). Seminary professor and theologian. He held the chair of New Testament Language and Literature and later the Clinton S. Quin Chair of Christian Ethics at Virginia Theological Seminary from 1936 until his retirement in 1974. As one of Paul Tillich's first American... Read More »

From the Greek monos, "one," and arche, "source" or "principle," monarchianism is a teaching about God which flourished in the second and third centuries. It stressed the unity (or monarchy) of God rather than the three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. Monarchianism occurred in two forms. Dynamic... Read More »

A place where members of religious orders live in community, usually under the monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The orderly life of prayer, work, and study is carried out in the context of the "hours of the day" or "divine offices" and the daily eucharist. The brothers in a... Read More »

A person who devotes his or her life to religious vows and who lives in community (in or associated with a monastery) or as a solitary. Monastic communities lead a life devoted to God in a monastery, in relative isolation from the world. Although monastic vows differ from tradition to tradition,... Read More »

(c. 331-387). Mother of Augustine of Hippo. She was probably born in Tagaste, North Africa. Monica married Patricius, who may have been a nominal Christian. She was the mother of three children: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetus. Most of the information about her is in Augustine's Confessions... Read More »

A member of a male monastic community. See Monastic.

(Mar. 16, 1823-Mar. 1, 1889). British music educator, composer, and organist. He was born in London. Much of Monk's life was spent as an organist and choirmaster in London parishes. He served as musical editor for the important British hymnal, Hymns Ancient... Read More »

A christological teaching that the person of Christ consisted of a single divine nature or a united divine and human nature in which the human was absorbed by the divine. The full humanity of Christ was not upheld. The term comes from the Greek monos, "one," and physis, "nature." The teaching is... Read More »

From the Greek monos, "one," and thelema, "will." A seventh-century christological teaching advocated by Sergius of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria, and others. It presented the Person of Christ as having one divine will under which his human will was subsumed. Monothelitism was consistent with... Read More »

A frame or vessel, typically made of gold or silver, used to display the consecrated bread of the eucharist for veneration or Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Also known as an ostensorium. The term is from the Latin "to show or display." The monstrance has a round, flat window in which the... Read More »

On Oct. 15, 1880, the House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Montana. It has had its own bishop from that time to the present. It was preceded by two larger jurisdictions. On Oct. 19, 1865, the House of Bishops resolved "That all those portions of our country, North of a line... Read More »

A charismatic Christian sect which appeared in Phrygia in Asia Minor during the closing years of the second century. Montanism was founded by Montanus and his assistants, Priscilla and Maximilla, who considered themselves to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Their "revelations" carried the adherents... Read More »

(Nov. 4, 1771-Apr. 30, 1854). British newspaper editor and hymn writer. Montgomery was born in Irvine, Ayrshire, England. He was the son of Moravian missionary parents who intended that he become a minister. However, he was dismissed from seminary in 1792 because of his preoccupation with writing... Read More »

(July 15, 1779-July 10, 1863). Seminary professor and renowned poet. He was born in Chelsea in New York City. Moore graduated from Columbia College in 1798. He studied for the ordained ministry but was never ordained. In 1809 he published A Compendious Lexicon of the Hebrew Language: In Two Vols.... Read More »

(Aug. 21, 1762-Nov. 12, 1841). A leading evangelical bishop who was known for his prayer meetings and informal services. He was born in New York City. Moore studied medicine. After practicing medicine for a while, he studied for the ordained ministry under Bishop Samuel Provoost of New York. He was... Read More »

Theology that focuses on development of moral principles and norms and their application to human actions in general and to particular situations. Moral theology provides a systematic framework for casuistry and has reflected the concerns of casuistry. Traditional moral theologies broadly assumed... Read More »


Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.